Saturday, December 22, 2007
a partridge and pear, no tree
sheep (my favourite!). Dry felting is my new chocolate.
I am so excited to have a camera. Almost a whole year has gone by without photo documentation. Beau is in for some In Yer Face camera action. And here are some very nice photos of the Christmas goodies I've been making into the wee hours of each morning. So much fun but Oh so sleep deprived. NEVER tackle overwhelming, overstimulating department stores whilst sleep deprived and hungry. I had a hypoglycemic meltdown until I inhaled three Nori rolls.
And here I am blogging when I should be taking the opportunity for a nap. These days it's a choice between crafting and sleeping.
Ooh and I bought knitting needles yesterday. See, working was just getting in the way of all this creativity.
Kevin Rudd eh. He ratifies the Kyoto Protocol (just, what, minutes after being instated??) and asks the US to do the same; he promises to say Sorry; he's already been to Iraq and back and promises to bring the lads home by June; he pledges to protect the Whales; prioritises climate change.....If he keeps up like this then he really is my Dream Prime Minister.
A safe and happy Christmas to you all xxx
Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Self portrait with Camel. Playing around with the Web cam to see if I can get a decent photo. Apparently not! I managed to nut out a pattern for the camel on my own, but have ordered a book so that I can make animals that do not resemble failed genetic experiments. Not too bad though and such is the way I work. I'm a little impatient when it comes to instructions and tend to have a crack at it alone. A few failed attempts usually lead to success (with some colourful language issued along the way and threats to terminate the lives of the tools involved). I am now however trying something new. Due to time restraints I am all for the blessed instructions put forth by those who have gone before us.
How my title photo squeezed itself into the title frame is a great mystery. Is someone logging into my blog and performing random acts of neatness?? Or do such things simply correct themselves over time? I WAS quite fond of the enormity of the tulip view!
I was going to do the 7 things about me meme after reading Soozs last post, and then I got carried away so to anyone who cares to read a long list of facts about me, go for it. It's mainly just to entertain myself at 1.35am (too many cups of tea).
1. I never forget to eat. Some people say 'I was so busy/tired/excited/depressed/broke/sick today I didn't eat'. I find this difficult to understand. Only in the midst of acute Gastro would I not think about or take measures to acquire my next meal/snack.
2. I speak Danish. I have a Danish name. I am not Danish.However I was married to a lovely Danish man when I was 25 and lived in Danmark at the time so I almost passed, except that now and then I would innocently use a word that was completely out of context and I was often thought to be a little odd by strangers. Therefore...
3. I am very patient with non English speaking people who so bravely attempt our difficult language (Danish very simple by comparison in my opinion).
4. I have lived in 31 different houses, in 6 different towns, in 3 different states, in 3 different countries in the last 29 years. I am now very eager to STOP MOVING and become a jam making, routine loving, family focused and firmly planted farmer's wife. (which means K will have to become a farmer because I am NOT getting married yet another time).
5. I am petrified of singing in public, especially my own songs, but when given the opportunity to public speak something else happens and I secretly (not any more) desire to be a stand up comedian, MC or chat show host...who is ...also a farmer's wife....
6. Despite being apparently restless and impulsive by nature, the requirements of motherhood to provide some level of consistency, responsibility, stability and clear guidance actually occur for me as a joy and a great relief. I do believe I may well have turned out to be rather more self indulgent were it not for Beau's grounding presence. This probably due to having Sun in Sagittarius and a Capricorn ascendant which on a good day can be great, and on another day be bloody confusing.
7. I have a very bad sense of smell. . I once stood in a kitchen with smoke spewing from a toaster and didn't noticed until I hung up and turned around. But strangely I will get a strong and real whiff of something when no one else around me can smell a thing.
8.Before Beau was born I used to swear too much. Especially the F word. I think it's lazy to swear so much. F*** it.
9. I birthed Beau at home in the water. He weighed 11lbs (5kg) at birth. As our second midwife arrived just before second stage, she announced that the baby she had just helped delivered at another home was 12 pounds. I;m glad she told me before we saw the size of Beau's head so that I could compare the task smaller to something! It was a wonderful birth, I loved every minute of it and I'll do it again.
10. I have an excellent memory. If I can see it or put a rhythm to it I can remember it. I have been useful in life as a walking telephone book/ diary/ jukebox.
11. I'm not a City Person. I am a Country Person living in the Suburbs, looking for the farm.
12. I love and feel deeply inspired by the Zen saying " Burn up like a good bonfire, everything you say or do, leave no trace'. It always takes my mind on an amazing journey and then to somewhere very still .
13. Despite how it often seems I am not that comfortable talking about myself . It seems to contradict the above wisdom, however I really love to hear about other people's lives and I do like to tell a story
14. So then I know that the burning up is about not carrying baggage from one moment to another and about coming to everything completely fresh; memories; daily chores; our loved ones; ourselves; everything.
Even the morning after only 5 hours sleep.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Picnics and luncheons in this one dahhlings.
These are from Unique Vintage
Still looking for some other great Vintage clothing sites.This evening I spent a good deal of time trying to found out who designed the fabulous green shoes that Penelope Cruz wore in the beginning scenes of Volver!( and you were beginning to think I had a life). I should be sleeping given that I need sleep more than a pair of of shoes.
I bought myself a frock last weekend, can't really call it a frock, it's definitely a dress. Green silk. And I bought a green velvet dress/jacket, so gorgeous. Not vintage. Designed by Lyn Van Heyk, local designer of glorious feminine silk dresses, skirts, jackets. I feel self indulgent having bought myself new clothing (thanks to my sweet generous friends who pitched in for a birthday treat) as one does when one is a parent and all manner of other things take precedence over oneself. For the first time in so long I can't remember, I dressed to go out the other night WITHOUT a 'What the hell am I going to wear' Crisis in sight. K found it rather refreshing to say the least.
We are married four years today. We have been together for seven and a half years. We have lived in Melbourne for 6 years. And we have a three year old child. These are impressive figures to a Sagittarian who traditionally never had nor did anything for longer than 6 moths to a year. There must be enough planets in my chart keeping the Sag in me from wigging out again. I'm good with change. Getting better with consistency and routine which I've come to learn are the bedrock of parenthood. And there's enough spontaneity in that itself to keep me happy.
I have one more short shift at work tomorrow and then I am officially 'retired' from the organics trade. The precious folk who have kept me gainfully employed all this time 'sent me off' at our Christmas Do with a poem and a beautiful Matrushka doll. I feel honoured and loved and sad, and liberated by the smell of the winds of change.
K and I have been talking this evening about some of Beau's behaviour and reiterating how important we feel it is to support him through it, not try to change him but hold him and guide him and continue to show him the consequences of his actions in the simplest way possible. We trust that like all kids he will learn empathy with time. We acknowledge that it's mostly about dealing with our own feelings and fears anyway. At the park the other day I actually felt shame and fear, not for Beau but for myself and sometimes that is the only difficult part of the situation. Kids get over stuff so quickly where as we adults can stew over something for an eternity e.g. my third post about the subject in a week!
Moving right along. I answered a phone call an hour ago from three friends I haven't seen for almost 20 years. Two of them live in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. These are people with whom I have had enormous amounts of fun. We sound the same and have the same sense of humour, and yet so much has happened we are different people entirely. That's the aging process I suppose isn't it. I bemusedly watch the obvious changes on the outside, sense the subtle changes on the inside and yet I feel the same as I did at 30, 20, 15......which leads me to think of wonderful teachings that talk about the 'enlightened' 'I' that never changes, that hasn't been created nor can it die. They talk about it being the pure awareness that is always present throughout every experience, thought, action. The sense of self beyond the ego that is familiar. And probably if I tapped into that part of my self a bit more I wouldn't feel the need to sit here past midnight Googling Raimunda's shoes. I would remember that I have a camel to make. I would go to bed so that I can function in the new day ahead. And yea verily all would be well. Good night.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It's been 7 months since we gave up our car for bikes and public transport and it has it's joys and annoyances, but mostly I love it - the immediacy of just getting on the bike and feeling free and unencumbered and Beau loves riding on the back singing and pointing out all the sights. I've started noticing the bikes people ride and appreciating things like the Sartorialist's bicycle category - I never really thought much about bikes and fashion, but now that I've been riding for a while I've had visions of myself upon a pink Swedish Kronan
bike (above). A friend has a similar step through retro bike waiting for me to look at -apparently it is black with flowers all over it, pink mud guards and white handle grips. Now there's an excuse to parade new summer frocks. Strictly for mama though.
We went to the city today to see the Myer Christmas Windows along with every other parent and child in Melbourne it would seem, then later to the park to let the kids work off some stimulation. There was a bit of an incident with Beau and some other kids next to a swing - resulted in Beau attempting a face grab and a bite which I managed to intercept. The mother of the little girl who's face Beau attempted to grab sent me some very very dark looks from her bench and I found it very unnerving and wished that I had said something to her - felt like I needed to explain to her what the experience is like for me and Beau, which may have been very helpful. I notice how while I feel protective towards other children and try to prevent Beau from reacting in such a way, I also so feel very protective of him. As adults we sometimes forget that kids can't be expected to control themselves especially when they are tired and hungry and over stimulated and challenged by other kids. I have to remind myself too that it takes time to learn that skill and it's more a case of me needing to read the signs in Beau and change the environment rather than change his behaviour when things have already gone too far. I think today affected me because it's been so long since Beau has done anything like it. I 'm sure this time around it's a lot to do with him resisting nap time (which I always encourage) and then finding it hard to cope in the afternoon because he's actually really tired. Some days our wee ones are more robust than other days, just like their parents. Today I was robust enough not to walk away in tears. It's happened many times though. A mixture of so many emotions. That Beau has often been misunderstood by other parents, has particularly been hard. That I'm supposed to know exactly what to do all the time, and to satisfy other parents' varied expectations is also very hard. It brings up some of my own childhood sadness and so the challenge has been big and also very rewarding because I am learning to trust my myself, my intuition and my parenting, and to trust in impermanence.
There is nothing I would change about Beau. That kind of love feels cleansing, enormous; I can't even say I can be so unconditional with K, though it's my intention and being a mother definitely helps bring that possibility closer. K and I have found real unity as parents together, something we've experienced on many levels and not at all on others. I often wonder how I/we would be if Beau wasn't in our lives. Little monkey.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The beautiful babe went to sleep early and so here I sit joyously, indulgently crafting the night away - making soft trees (see dodgey web cam photo above) thanks to Suse's lead, out of glorious felt, hand stitching and thinking about how many periods in my life I've found myself huddled in the light hand stitching something in a state of meditative bliss. Now with a renewed creative surge; four years ago when I recycled children's clothing and hand stitched felt motifs on everything; and ten years ago at art school when I hand stitched little tissue paper mache shellacked squares into cubes - 480 squares making 80 cubes (people thought I'd gone batty "It's Process Art man") . Each time I sit down with needle in hand I think about my grandmother who embroidered and crotched prolifically. I never knew her as she died when I was under two years old but I feel a connection to her in this way. I vaguely remember my mum swearing at her Singer so I guess the gene must have skipped a generation. Mum had her own thing going on flying light aircraft (THAT gene may well come back through my children, not me!)
So yeah soft trees, what a delight, for the nativity set growing on the mantle. I passed up K's corporate Christmas Do for a Night On the Felt. We have my Work Do tomorrow night and one a weekend is simply enough for me. Did I mention that I've resigned from my job and have but one more week of 4.30am starts and lifting boxes and standing on my feet but sadly simultaneously only one more week of hanging out with wonderful co workers/friends/employers and customers, good food, stimulating adult conversation (the lack of which could be my undoing!) and daily dose of belly laughing. Truly a fabulous job for so many reasons but so often has me exhausted and dreaming of more time with Beau and K and allowing room to reorganise our family routine to provide more time together in general. With neither mortgage nor debts (can I just say the latter one more time.'nor debts' ahh the sweetness of it) there is much potential in this change. We are regularly found drooling over country real estate these days, just to keep our sights on the ultimate goal.
Back to soft trees and Grant Lee Phillips (of Buffalo). Listening to his Nineteen Eighties Cover album which, if like me you were molded by that decade, will bring you much joy and perhaps even a sentimental tear. Great covers like Under The Milky Way Tonight, Love My Way, Boys Don't Cry, Wave of Mutilation and other gems.
Have a wonderful weekend y'all
Friday, December 7, 2007
I must also say more importantly that Beau is particularly cute and funny and loving and musical and just generally all round fabulous to be with these days. Isn't it just the most miraculous moment when you realise you are having a conversation with your wee one - a little insight into their amazing minds.
I know it's not a dress but I love it and it's the closest thing to a Bikini you would ever get me into! I'd even go the sandals at the pool!
Love polka dots.
Never been big on yellow but this is cute.
Yellow again! Love it with all that lace! I would wear it to a dimly lit jazz bar and slink my way on stage for a standard or two.
is where I found these treasures, so much vintage goodness in this world.
I'm on the hunt for a frock this weekend. 'Tis the time to Frock-on, Christmas Do's and all coming up. I hope you are all enjoying frocking up for the season, even if it's just to decorate the tree.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Check out this great site for making snowflakes. I know they're not exactly Australiana Christmas but they are wonderful nonetheless and don't we all deep down dream of a White Christmas?
My 40th was really fun, not a grand event but spent with good friends, good food and later in the evening good music. We had a sumptuous breakfast at home and in the evening a few of us went dancing. It has been a very long time since any of us went dancing. It was FUN! Everything still works and I awoke the next morning with the lightness of heart and relaxed body that I remember from my dancing days of youth. Even my seemingly unfixable rib has come good from a good dose of hip shaking and arm flinging (well it's not as much fun if you don't dance like a fool!).
Yesterday I gave notice at work. I stood by the phone for some time unsure of my decision because truly it's a fantastic job with fantastic people and I will miss seeing them three times a week. However I feel like I've done such a good thing for myself. this change that is upon us is way over due and with me not working we free up time and space to have more family time and more sleep and the possibility of K finding a new job. He has hung in there for a year at least now much to his credit, and now it's time to move on to something stimulating, better paid and closer to home. He's an amazing man K, who has wisdom and skills that even on a small scale are helping and inspiring people. He finds it hard to know exactly where or how to focus them and I hope he finds what is closest to his heart. I look forward to putting more time into Beau and our shared creativity, and to choir - I want to arrange songs and maybe even write one. And of course there is the second baby who is fluttering in the ethers around my ears whispering 'Mummy mummy, come ON' .
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
50's Malcolm Star dress (almost Doris Day depending on how far one unbuttons...)
60's blue green cocktail dress
70's I'll-Just-Slip-Into-Something-More-Comfortable-Norma Kamali Dress
All this frock glory from poshgirlvintage
They make me wanna sew.
Oh bugger it they make me wish I had a big fat credit card.
40 tomorrow! See you on the Other Side.
Monday, November 26, 2007
- take up Spanish again (so I can indulge in Almodovar without having to squint at the subtitles)
- clear out my wardrobe and wear only frocks
- make a doll for Beau
- do yoga
- kiss my husband more often
- finish Tara
- more craft with Beau
- Go to the cinema (haven't been for 3 years!!!! Aaaaaghhhhhh)
- take lots and lots of photos
- visit Rinpoche in Tuscany
- have another baby (which highlights the need to make the most of 9. and prioritise 5. be VERY open minded about 2. and kiss 1. 7. and 11. goodbye for another 3 years if they haven't been accomplised by this point..)
I also love the designs by Pelle - find them at mioke. Scroll down and select sewing then scroll up and select pelle.
We used to have Frock on Fridays back in the Feral late 90's (feral for me anyway, I can't speak for you) - everyone joined in, even my dog now and then. My taste in frocks has changed since then. Now my frocks need to be clean and in tact but I've always loved a vintage frock especially the 50's and 70's variety.
Until Friday then....
Sunday, November 25, 2007
We have sorted out the hows and wherefores of moving into our friend's house in January. The timing has been perfect and the move looks to be easy given that we can just store our minimal possessions and move into a gorgeous furnished house. I've never been very good at holding onto things. I get very excited about culling everything down to the basics when there's a move afoot. Probably because I/we have moved so many times in the last 20 years individually and as a couple/family. I had everything I needed at one point just after mum died. I got rid of it all to go off on a feral romp around the country free of material encumbrances and it seems I've been unable to hold fast to such things since. Which is quite amusing given that I have a HUGE fetish for Inside Out magazine and daydream about our own oasis in the country where we live happily ever after. It is time to put down roots. There'll always be the need to get up and go somewhere but I strongly feel the need for home and community and familiarity. And a sense of creativity being expressed through living in and knowing a place intimately. I've accepted that we have realistically given up our chance of owning a house in the city. Which is OK. Happy to rent and even happier to start a life in the country.
K and I really REALLY need to reconnect and save our relationship which has hung together on a thin thread for a year and a half. For the first time ever I've found myself imagining life as a single parent which is how I've mostly felt (trite as that may sound to a single parent). It's easier to imagine no relationship over a dysfunctional one. Our differences are more pronounced than ever and we've become so habituated to managing without each other that I wonder sometimes if it wasn't for the beautiful Beau would we still be together but then it's partly due to the changes brought by parenthood that our relationship has changed so dramatically. Was a time when I would just get up and leave a place or a relationship or a job or whatever, if the joy had gone out of it. I'm pretty good at moving on and starting again. But that gets to be very exhausting, and repetitive. Same shit, different scenario. And motherhood has shown me those parts of self that keep me more connected, like true patience and compassion and determination and forbearance and deep unconditional love . It would be pointless if those things didn't filter out into the rest of life. The wee ones are teaching us how to love and to Stick It Out.
So many photo worthy moments of late. If we could only download the contents of our minds something like Dumbledore's Pensieve. I look forward to buying a camera and putting images with words. I could talk and write all day but jeeze how boring for us all. I love seeing all your pictures - how you all look at the world and what you make and where you live. Soon I will have lots more to share and if all goes accordingly more time for craft and baking and adventures.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Hmmm I must learn how to size title image correctly!!!!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I just got off the phone talking with a very dear friend who is currently living a gypsy life of sorts, travelling around with his caravan, meditating, and about to head to India for the first time. He has all his time to himself as one does when one has no partner or family, and i always love hearing about his travels and his discoveries within and without. He has had an enormous year - a death, the breakdown of a realtionship, the emergence of personal demons.....Where am I going with this? I think because I have a day to myself I'm reflecting that time for self, brief though it is, as being precious and necessary. We have such big change upon us and the potential for a completely different life. We could buy a van and travel around the country. We could buy tickets to Europe and go and see Rinpoche next year. We could move to a different state and live in the country. I haven't really had time to contemplate it all, whcih is in some ways a good thing because it helps to focus on what needs to be done now, but I'm finding today, a sense of excitement as to what might be in store. I would like to leave my job and go back to a more creative way of generating income. A few years ago I had a small business recycling and dyeing children's clothing. Lately I've been having visions of rebirthing it and working from home again; especially as we are planning to have another baby. If we really are to homeschool, then we need to consider how we survive financially in a way that gives us time at home.
OUr beautiful boy. What a huge leap from two to three! The emergence of imaginative play and the ability to have a conversation; the joy he experiences now at being with other children and how far we've come from Days of Chucky (biting). Beau absolutely loves dresses. The more colourful and eloborate the better. His favourite is a little green 'fairy dress' that he must sleep in, dance in, and very pedantically cross the threshold from porch to entry hall in. He also loves shoes. Will do anything to try on a pair of shoes. I love it. I want to go out and gather the biggest dress up collection I possibly can. Boas, hats, tutus, jackets, masks.....and some for Beau too ;D
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The sale of the house is going ahead, auction booked, inspection days penciled in and a weekend of hard yakka ahead to prepare for photos next Wednesday. It's all going very fast which will probably prove to be a blessing. Ironically of course the more we do to clean up the place and prepare for sale, the lovelier it feels to me. Ah dear. How difficult it is to be a human being sometimes, with all these desires and attachments. Thankfully the Universe (be it that to which we may credit our fate) has thrown out the life boat in the form of supportive friends, a place to rent for half a year and what we are told is a seller's market so we will come out of this OK. And that will be the biggest breath of fresh air I could imagine. There have been so many times this last year and a half where we have not felt OK. Just as well there's much more to life than owning a home (which we probably will do at some point again anyway). At last we are coming back to a place of freedom, in our minds more than anything, and flexibility. The tight chord around our life is loosening and finally, teetering at the edge of 40, I may just be about to live the country life I've dreamed of. If I can just hold my nose and jump in......
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I am staying open to the belief that anything can happen and that if we are prepared to do whatever is necessary and without fretting we will be present enough to see opportunities coming our way - maybe new jobs that allow us flexibility and pay us well and keep us fed creatively, support from places we never thought of, the perfect piece of advice, a block of land in the country that meets all our self-sufficiency requirements and the friends to retreat there with....Whether we stay here or go There it will be because all conditions were right.
But still I'm going to let myself be a little sad and go and sit out back and day dream about where we would put a chook run and a sand pit . And maybe eat that block of Black and Gold Mayan orange chocolate that I've been resisting because apparently sugar can revert a newly adjusted skeleton back to scrambled state. Maybe just one piece.....or two.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Gone are the days of luxury bathing and obviously not just because of the water problem.
I'm a DIY renovator wannabe but plumbing isn't my area.
Oh bring it on bring it on bring it ON!!! That rain is possibly the best sound I could imagine. Except the part that reminds me that litres of precious water are splashing from an area of gutter overhead.....
Recovering from the worst dose of flu I've experience for a great ,many years. Only two whole days in bed but should really have been three or four (and the whole thing has spent weeks incubating within me via throat tickles, headaches and, fatigue) so here I am with a decent cough, and the hope that it hibernates tomorrow night during choir during which I will conduct not sing and hopefully not be reduced to the likes of an air traffic controller......
Hope your Veges are singing out there in the wet earth.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Beau and K are off on a Ceres adventure. Precious boy time giving me precious me time. I would rather be out in the sun with them but this here is rare. We were to have a garage sale today but will wait until next week. Time for a good ol' spring clean. Time to pull up the last of the blue (yesss) carpet and go forth and buy mulch and seedlings. Time to fill up the sand pit and plant nasturtium seeds, to air the dynes and try making bread again (first attempt failed due to lack of warmth for rising).
May all your winter lurgies be long behind you and may spring find you light and energetic and full of creativity.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
If you have the answers don't hesitate to illustrate them in clear point form and don't skimp on pictures - we must have proof!
PS Happy Spring everyone Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently our computer doesn't realise we've moved on from winter. It's SO An Hour and a Half Ago!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
We have been cleaning up our front and back gardens and shed in honour of the glorious weather promising spring. Slowly but surely our garden is becoming a lovely place to hang out and hopefully we'll have a little pergola with shade cloth and a baby grape vine before the heat of summer hits.
Next thing to do is mend and adjust the funky frocks hanging on the study door, ooh I can't wait to get into those. Unless of course I am pregnant by the time the weather warms up - that would be both wonderful and disturbing given that all winter I've been rotating the same three outfits without too much complaint knowing that frocks are awaiting!
A wonderful musical discovery today - well music recommended by a friend - a six CD anthology of American Folk Music recorded in the late 50's.(thanks Mike for keeping us well fed in the music department, and you too Martin while I'm at it) Apparently Bob Dylan 'borrowed' the exact anthology from a friend prior to his rise to fame. You can hear the influences so clearly. There's such a mix of spirit and joy and darkness in those songs. Makes me want to pick up my guitar more often and sing whatever is in there. It's so easy to not do it. And yet lately each time I've played and sang for a few hours of an evening I've spent the following day feeling like I've had some profound spiritual cleansing!! Why wouldn't a person want to experience that more often and just say 'bugger the dishes'.....
Beau's perfect joy right now? A simple Ikea train set that he bought with the coins in his money box. He clutched it to his chest in quiet satisfaction all the way home and hasn't stopped playing with it since.
Friday, August 24, 2007
This is our kitchen (above) in need of a paint job!
I am reliving a love affair with all things Scandinavian - especially the white walls, white floor boards, quirky and hyggeligt (means cosy but more...one of those untranslatables) with beautiful fabrics and textures and interesting found and designed objects/furniture. They just have a way that I think, having lived in Denmark for two and a half years, has a lot to do with spending a good deal of time indoors due to long, dark winters and therefore needing to make the inner environment light and airy and beautiful to be in for hours on end. In considering what to do with our little semi detached Melbourne house, I keep going back to this idea. Essentially our house is full of light with big windows and I can see it glowing and feeling spacious with a white paint job and colourful bits all around. You can see more photos of Mettes gorgeous apartment (the other two photos above are of her place) on her blog which is full of other beautiful things including her children's clothing and pottery. It seems Mette lives not far from Arhus where I lived. It was an interesting time for me, learning the language, getting married, rushing home to be with my mother as she died, marriage ending not long after and I haven't been back since. Feels like another life entirely now. But I would go back in a second to see everyone, being on good terms with my ex and felling like there is still a connection to the place.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Just came back from a great choir practice. They are wonderful people, fun and easy going and sing beautifully and it's such a pleasure to stand in front of them and hear the songs. I've never lead a choir before now and it is teaching me so much - bringing me back to music in a much more community-minded way; expanding my appreciation of musical genres and teaching me to be humble and assertive. I've had so much fear around music since I was a teenager and first declared to my desperately unhappy mother that I wanted to sing. She couldn't hear it because she had so many unfulfilled dreams of her own and so I guess took on a certain guilt around the dreaming and the hours spent teaching myself to play and compose.
My father has rediscovered his own voice in the last 6 years and sings in a choir in WA. It's so good to connect with him on that level and listen to him talk from his heart about his love of singing. It doesn't matter how old we are, it's never too late to do these things.
Beau and I rode to our friends' house around the corner this morning in the winter sun, that glorious first hint of a spring not too far away. Seeing Beau walk freely around the park lands has me yearning to get to the country. He would truly be in heaven living on acreage (as would K and I) with lots of animals about and lots of great jobs to do outside. We spent all Saturday in the garden, mulching and clearing rubbish and relocating the chickens and Beau always wants to help. He helps cook and clean and fix and dig and fetch and push.....they love it the little ones, to just do whatever it is we are doing. I feel like we could get rid of all the toys and there are still a hundred things to do.
Sunday evening we had our forth Co op collection. Lots of families coming through the house of our friends up the road. Lots of kids, lots of chatter, lots of helping hands and LOADS of really good food being sorted and weighed and bagged and bottled....So many other ideas are growing from our co op. Craft group, recipe book, sustainability (which is where it started really) bartering, working bees...it's a dream come true and it makes life in the suburbs a whole lot more exciting.
(Something weird is happening with the time down the bottom of each post. Believe me it is not 4.30am as I write this!!)
Thursday, August 16, 2007
It's late and the small blonde alarm will wake me at an ungodly hour but I will sit awhile yet and read some more of Cold Mountain -wonderful if you are in the mood for journeying against horrendous odds and wayfaring strangers and women working the land at a time when women didn't work land they sketched and played piano.....most likely you have seen the movie which in its own right was quite good and if you agree then you must read the book. Charles Frazier is the author. I do love a good journey, hence I loved Cormac McCarthy's novels. It's such a luxury these days to have a book that engrosses me enough to have me stop cleaning while Beau sleeps of an afternoon and sit by the window and read. It's always been that a book has had to grip me within the first page otherwise I wouldn't go any further. Nowadays I give them a little more time. I have author binges, for example I'll read four Isabelle Allende novels and then 3 Gabriel Garcia Marquez and two Cormac McCarthy etc etc. I'll be needing a new book soon. Any recommendations???
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Yeah I know it's not very lady like but it shows two facts about me; 1) I absolutely love to feed my face and 2) I have a tendency towards the ridiculous whenever someone points a camera at me so in terms of self portraits it's really quite revealing. There's a hint of a fear of narcissism as I post these - and then I reflect upon the comfort of knowing something of other bloggers' lives and identities and how being a bit more transparent in life can be a beautiful thing.
The day of our wedding above. Dec 2003. One of my favourite wedding shots next to the one of K and I pulling 'sharkies' which I don't seem to have on my hard drive but will post it because it's very fetching.
So given that I have no new pictures to post, here are some 'old' ones. As I said I personally can't digest endless paragraphs of text (unless I'm reading a novel) without the relief of pictures to break it up, so these are for you if you a similar........
Mental note ; must ask K to show me how to get photos off my phone.
I must go to work. This is the time of day when the last thing I want to do is to go to work. What I want to do at 3.30pm is to have a cup of tea, eat some cake, enjoy Beau's scruffy , woozy emerging from dream land, and await K's arrival home and avoid venturing outside into the cold wind. (Love the cold, can't do wind). Just as well my job is not at all like a job but more like doing some chores with good friends.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Beau is getting four molars all at once which has brought forth not surprisingly a host of behaviours that usually occurs whenever a non-family member joins us. And the usual sleep disruption and not knowing what he wants except Boobie and lots of it......I can't even imagine what it must feel like to have four huge teeth piercing my gums.Bloody painful. The other morning Beau looked up at me in the bathroom after our morning shower and said "Mummy a beautiful Queen with Boobies" He can have just about anything he wants when that much cuteness comes around.
K has been through a period of doubt about having another baby. Some of his concerns have been his age and health; his job which is stable but which wouldn't support us if I stopped working my few but necessary shifts; debts; more sleep deprivation; non-existent sex-life/relationship time; less freedom to travel and study.....probably all the very normal anxieties of a 40 something year old Dad who still hasn't found job satisfaction and who has never left the country. I've tried on the whole only child prospect as a result. To be fair to K and to double check my own motives for having a another child. It's gotta be now or never really. Guy's can buy a whole lot more time at this age than us women. Does it sound really lame to say that I strongly feel like there's another little being waiting to come on in to our lives? I've considered the possibility of not being ABLE to conceive and that's a different matter. But there's the willingness to try, the openness to it, the idea of not one but two fantastic babes that leave us completely exhausted but completely enraptured and there's the companionship of siblings that I remember myself and that when all things adult were seeming oh so dull there was my brother to escape with to the record collection....
Truly if it came down to practicality I would be happy to sell this house and be debt free and move to a cheap house in the country and enjoy family life without it having to succumb to looming limitations of an economic nature. But I doubt it will be necessary (and maybe we'll do it anyway). I must say then that our calm conversation around the issue has given K the space to come to it on his own. Now we are mutually open again to that little being hovering around and it feels good, rich, natural, exciting, and still a bit scary.
Monday, July 9, 2007
This is not to say that the joy of returning home was in any way depleted. Such bliss in my heart to see my boys crouched at the gate - Beau's delayed but beaming recognition of my return which carried on over the next few days through sweet happy exclamations of "Mummy home from aeroplane" (inferring that he thinks I've been up in the air all this time?) We have swung back into the routine that keeps our shared life sane and steady - that isn't always easy to bare when it costs our relationship time and energy but is still worth sticking up for when the mind goes a romancin' with the idea that 'everything will be better when...'. K and I are trying to practise presence in our lives so that the challenges of busy city lives as parents and partners and home owners do not undo us and we are grateful for the good people we have around us here. We talked last night about how we are feeling - about moving states, about having another child and the amazing one we've already been so fortunate to bring along. We have hit a stasis of sorts where my wish for a bigger family and to simplify and slow down are in the sort of contrast to K's wish for meaningful employment, travel, study and spiritual pilgrimage, that means we need to sit with it all and find out if we can do it all, and if only some of it - what will be let go of. K's wise last words of the evening were "let's not try to DO anything unless we are doing it from a relaxed, present. aware space". That's dead sexy talk that is! Lovely man. Excellent co pilot on this sometimes turbulent journey through time and space. Now I must sleep before I go analogy mad.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Had a week that felt like groundhog day every day, but with parts that revealed the bliss within routine. I look forward to some time away ( one week before I leave), to get to know myself again, and come home refreshed and recharged.
Beau and I are going to try playgroup after a spell away due to the biting which seems to have stopped (dare I wiggle joyously in my seat?)
We have been riding around in the frosty winter air feeling good and more fit each week. As K says "Now I know why all those people on bikes ride around with grins on their faces!"
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
I think we really need a holiday. Not just time off from work. One of those holidays that 'other people' have -where they book ahead and go somewhere very different form home and have a break! Feel the need to rest and play with my family.
In a couple of weeks I am going away by myself! Good gods I can almost not believe it and at times I wonder if I should (that's how long it's been since I did anything by myself!!) Off to Perth for a friend's 40th and to see family and some friends I haven't seen for almost 20 years!!!! I am excited of course I am. Mostly about the amount of sleep I will be able to have! Six days is just long enough to feel as though I've had a break, but not too long that I will start pining for my boys (we'll see). I love going back to the west. I feel connected to the place. Even though I haven't lived there for 10 years , it's still home. A kind of home. Really home is inside of me. when I'm feeling present I am there. When I was traveling in Europe in the early 90's I would often yearn for the physical home and the familiar, but when I was really present and relaxed and secure I would sense that home within and felt at home anywhere. Because I have moved around so much I find it easy to start again in a new place and make new friends and find a niche for myself. It's been harder to stay still and this is the longest I have stayed in the one place since I was 19. These six years in Melbourne have been good learning. Both K and I have moved through a lot of stuff - issues together and alone, found a spiritual path that supports us individually and as a couple, we've made friends who are like family and we have become parents. We've made blundering financial decisions and crawled our way out and we look at our lives now though still trying to make ends meet, we are paying for our own house, and we are active in our community and we feel loved and we love and we see how happy our son is and we think we can't be doing all that bad!
Saturday was a big mulching day. Bliss. It was truly. I am happiest when the days are not packed with outings and we have materials at home to beautify and create and Beau joyously tootling along beside us with his wheel barrow. I love friends dropping in for tea which is happening more often as friends move closer.
K has been a little down. "Midlife Crisis" he suggested on the weekend. He needs to find a 9 to 5 job that doesn't bore him senseless. And yes I/we believe they do exist. I am so fortunate because I have a fantastic job working for and with good friends where we laugh all the time and have stimulating conversations and sell goods over which I have no ethical dilemmas. The customers are diverse and interesting and I can ride to work from home. It's not a career move but then motherhood has simplified everything for me. I know what I need to do right now and it's challenging and stimulating and rewarding and it's what I've wanted to do for so long. I'm considering what to do when we have school aged kids but I'm not concerned about it. It's harder for the men so often because they spend so much more time away from the family and the home and so they have (understandably) greater expectations of their working lives. Not than one role is easier than the other. We are working towards being able to work from home and eventually moving to the country. We are doing OK in the here and now. More than OK. Just need to find K something he can enjoy 5 days a week. I think it was Barry Humphreys who said he decided he wouldn't do anything unless it was lots of fun!
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Since moving to Melbourne (from Byron Bay???!!...at the time I thought we'd gone mad!!!) I've really understood how it is possible to feel isolated in a big city. Over these 6 years we have met many wonderful people, some of whom have moved away. some closer, some friendships changed and still new ones forming. But we are all caught up in the daily task of survival and whilst probably by no means to the degree of the average working home owner/parent it's still a challenge to stand still long enough to connect with the world outside. It requires effort. K and I are trying not to pack our lives too full but still we seem to be busy???? Thank the gods for the days I spend with Beau in our little cave, drawing and singing and counting cars and people from the lounge room window, drinking tea with visitors and venturing no further than our own back garden.
Speaking of which, a friend was walking home from our house yesterday and saw a guy cutting and mulching pine trees. We now have a god-almighty pile of it in our driveway - big beautiful steaming pile of mulch for our muddy garden, plus next year's supply of fire wood! Thank you neighbour!!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
What a wild day. Wild wind. Rain. Love having an excuse to stay inside all day. Beau sleeps as does the child of a friend who is with us today. A peaceful spell to be with myself and eat the chocolate I hid this morning. I'm going to make Beau a doll - a Steiner Doll for which I have instructions. It occurred to me how quickly gender differentiation's starts - how Beau has ended up with so many trucks and cars and animals and no dolls. All the daughters of my friends have had dolls for a long time. I would love to see Beau connect with a doll and have a sense of that caring nature that girls are encouraged to have in their play from so early on. A friend who runs a Steiner Playgroup says that a doll is also special for a child because when the parent is absent the child cares for the doll and in turn feels the parent's nurture through the doll. I thought this was a great explanation;
"A waldorf dollmaker breathes life into each creation by slowly and lovingly sewing a body for its spirit to come into. These dolls are not just stitched together; they are 'born'. Something of the maker's own self goes into each individual doll; therefore it would be ideal for parents to make all their own children's dolls and toys. The next best thing is to have a doll custom-made for a particular child, and for the dollmaker to endow that doll as much as possible with the personality and colouring of the child.
Seeing that the doll is the child's 'alter ego', through which he or she can express his/her deepest feelings, they are not only for girls, but for boys too! I have made many dolls for little boys whose mothers tell me, years later, that their son still plays with that doll and that it is his favourite toy."
Victoria Robertson, Waldorf Doll maker Dunsborough WA
We've been having one of those weeks where everything is going so smoothly - Beau is happy and relaxed and easy going.....and I say it's all due to routine, to the blissfully predictable rhythm of a day and week that a 2 and a bit year old can count on. Our days are more relaxed, more productive, more creative and filled with much more laughter when we follow the rhythms that support our otherwise busy life. The changes that come with having no car are varied and while we often aren't home as early, being car-less has forced us to take our time, be more organised when we need to go out and do things and to just let it all go when it looks like we've missed a bus or the weather is too wild or we are too tired to ride. It has made me realise how much we would normally try to pack into a day/ a week and how much harder it is on Beau to be bustled out of the house and into the car and driven around on errands. He is truly so much happier when he gets to spend most of his time at home (still with visits to the park and friends) and so for that matter am I! There's more time for drawing and singing songs and dancing and looking out the window at the world going by. Being a mother is of course the most enormous and challenging commitment I've ever undertaken but it's taught me so much about relaxing and letting go which is very fortunate considering there is little time for formal meditation practice. One of the main principals of Dzogchen practice is to not separate practice from daily life - that it is daily life. Recognising and integrating our natural state of pure presence and awareness amidst the chaos of our daily lives is real enlightenment. I have kept this perfect quote from Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche for a long time :
"The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.
This produces a tremendous energy which usually is locked up in the process of mental evasion and a general running away from life experiences.
Clarity of awareness may, in its initial stages, be unpleasant or fear-inspiring; if so, then one should open oneself completely to the pain or the fear and welcome it. In this way the barriers created by one's own habitual emotional reactions and prejudices are broken down.....
......The everyday practice is just ordinary is life itself. Since the underdeveloped state does not exist there is no need to behave in any special way or try to attain or practice anything.
There should be no need of striving to reach some exalted goal or higher state; this simply produces something conditional or artificial that will act as an obstruction to the free flow of the mind. One should never think of oneself as "sinful" or worthless, but as naturally pure and perfect, lacking nothing."It's the same message for me within Skeleton Woman story. It's so perfectly simple and yet utterly challenging all at the same time!!!! But NEVER boring!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Our little home. It is a slow work in progress but it is light filled and warm and cosy. It is the perfect blank canvas. There are corners I love and corners that have been transformed like this one by simply having bought an op shop couch and covering it with red that catches the afternoon sun. A place to read and cuddle and watch the world go by the front window.
Our choir is revising a Rachmaninoff piece called Bogorditsye Dyevo - a beautiful 4 part song.....I have it constantly in my head at the moment. So many divine pieces of music/songs have been written and played....
It's a pleasure to be singing with a group of like-minded people and a real challenge for me to be there as a singing leader. I was thinking not so long ago about the length of time music has been a part of my life. Mum taught me to play piano when I was 6 or 7.....so 34 years now and perhaps I'm only just really finding my feet with it. All the fear and moving in and out of musical connections and still no matter where I am it will find me even if I'm not looking for it. I'm very happy that Music cares for me enough to go the long haul with me. I think I've come a little further to be able to make reciprocal commitment!
Friday, May 25, 2007
In my first post I said I would upload a picture of the painting I have been working on (forever!!) This is White Tara.
This link has a good description of the Buddhist deity. I spent a good deal of time meditating and painting Tara throughout my pregnancy and I felt her presence at Beau's home birth. This painting is for one of our midwives and sadly she has been waiting for almost 2 and a half years!! I WILL finish it by the end of this year.
And on a far more material level and almost as devotional - my love of a well made, woolen retro skirt. The one above I found at a little op shop around the corner from our house (often I find fantastic hand knitted woolen jumpers for Beau too), and the one below was a Camberwell Market purchase last winter.
It was all those years of Scooby Doo as a child - Daphne's dress sense has definitely influenced me!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Beau loves to be out in the garden looking for bugs under bricks and chasing the cat....I look forward to it being a space that we can spend endless hours in whatever the season.
We had a 'circle' on the weekend with two couples, great friends with whom we needed to discuss the whole biting issue. IT was a wonderful thing to do - meet without the kids and have a couple of hours for each of us to talk about how we feel and what we would like to do about it. It wasn't easy either. I have had a lot of fear of judgment and I felt very vulnerable and nervous as I spoke. But it was a supportive space and we all felt very fortunate to be able to do something like that with each other. I think I'll be more able to relax and not take other parents' reactions so personally if their children are bitten and I also got to ask for more support when we are socialising with our children/ having play dates. K and I have found it really inspiring and reassuring to find Louise Porter's advice on guiding children's behaviour without punishment and reward. She has written a book called 'Children are People Too'.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I was looking at Beau's plastic (eekk!!) animal collection and remembered seeing the mama pig and piglets my friend M knitted!!!! for her boys and how my heart yearns for Beau to be surrounded by things that reflect care and imagination and beauty. We're doing pretty well for our circumstances. Oh that there were more hours in a day.
our first official car-less week. Feels fine. Feels good. I feel good and I do think I will sleep a whole lot better with all this physical activity.I may even have enough energy to craft into the wee hours now and then.